My church pastor discussed the upcoming visit of Franklin Graham to Maine this August 23rd in Augusta for the Decision America Tour (https://decisionamericatour.com/). I was blessed then that he asked the congregation to pray for a Maine Senator in attendance and myself. We were both asked to offer advice to the people attending and we both quickly (at the same moment) said Vote! One day later I realize more importantly, it is also important to participate fully! Processing the idea of participating reminded me of a story.
When I was running for re-election in 2012 I knocked on a door not too many miles from my home. The person answered, looked at me and said that I had a terrible environmental record and asked why she would vote for me. She then slammed the door in my face! Fast forward not too much into the future of that year and another person called me. Told me there was a major issue with Milfoil in our communities and in Maine, we had to talk. We got together, I listened and realized the Milfoil issue was much worse than I knew. This initial discussion set about a year of working together to craft proposed legislation, pull in key people and organizations, go through the legislative process and then adjust when the Legislative Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee had issues with our plan.
Ultimately, we passed key legislation (together) as my constituent had the knowledge of the issue and used my legislative abilities. I sometimes use this story when I speak as one person put me in a box and decided I was on the wrong side while the second person focused on a passionate issue and used her legislator to gain a win for her cause.
I think we too often do pick sides, assume instead of asking and we chose to not participate fully. This election cycle is very important. It is clear many of the politics have lined up as Democrat or Republican, CNN or Fox News. My challenge to all of us is to not let parties or media guide your voting. Think about what is important to you and your family. There is a lot of information available, but you may have to work to get it. I know for some people the presidential race is a turn off, however Maine also has six referendum items that could have major impacts on our culture and society. I believe, while the instinct might be to walk away this year, in fact this is a year where you should confront the fork in the road we have before us and be heard!
God bless you! Keep this election process in your prayers. I can tell you I would not be writing to you today if it were not important.
Rep. Mike McClellan
Maine House 66
Parts Raymond, Casco and Poland